A new public service announcement for Iraqi television will seek to discourage suicide bombers. The ad avoids mentioning the obvious "consumer benefit" namely, that the would-be bomber remains alive.
Instead, the ad gets potential bombers to think about their methods from the viewpoint of the innocent victims.
The 60-second spot is a co-production of Los Angeles-based commercial house 900 Frames and EFXFilms, a Lebanese company. It features about 200 cast members and extras, pyrotechnic explosions, and special effects that include a Matrix-style moment-in-time shot. The production simulated a crowded Baghdad square by shooting on location near downtown Los Angeles last week.
"If 900 Frames can make a difference in the heart and mind of just one potential suicide bomber by accurately portraying the senseless results of an attack on civilians, then we will have achieved something that will spare countless lives," said Sam Najah, an Iranian-American and partner at 900 Frames.
"We've all seen the aftermath of suicide bombs, but footage on the news doesn't capture the real human carnage," said Drew Plotkin, 900 Frames' other partner. "This paints the human picture the moments before, during, and after the explosion."
The budget of more than $1 million was raised from private sources such as "independent, non-governmental scholars, businesspersons, and activists living in Iraq and abroad," according to 900 Frames. Plotkin said that for security and other reasons, the backers wish to keep their identity secret, a common practice with PSAs, even in the United States.
"In the politically charged climate of the Middle East, it's understandable they would want the focus on the message, not themselves," said Plotkin.
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